Thirteen Mexicans invited to join the Hollywood Academy
On June 30, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) presented a list of artists that will be in the next edition of the Oscars, including 13 Mexican actors and directors.
Despite the global pandemic that has required cinemas to remain closed until further notice, the Oscars continue to prepare the 93rd edition of the awards.
As a result of the policies presented by The Academy in 2016, in an attempt to improve diversity and represent more minority groups, the list presented by the AMPAS for this year’s celebration features 819 members from 68 different countries.
Considering the success of Mexican movies in Hollywood over the last decade with awarded titles such as Roma (2019) by Alfonso Cuarón, Birdman (2015) by Alejandro González Iñárritu, or The Shape of Water (2018) by Guillermo del Toro, 13 Mexicans have been included as members of 2021's list.
One of the most notable names on the list is Yalitza Aparicio, the actress originally from Oaxaca, best known for her role in Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2019).
After her nomination for best actress in 2018, Aparicio has used her recognition to become an important activist in the fight for indigenous rights in Mexico.
Even though celebrities like her have made visible a problem that once seemed invisible, racism is an issue that remains largely unresolved in Mexico.
As Aparicio stated in an article for the New York Times where she talks about her experience after Roma’s success, “I never believed that a film could open a debate on subjects that have long been taboo in my country.”
Because of their impact, Hollywood has tried to diversify over the last couple of years.
As stated in the report presented by The Academy, “the 2020 class is 45% women, 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial communities, and 49% international.”
According to Aparicio, cinema is an important field "because movies can help us to shed light on urgent, necessary, sometimes painful and not always easy issues that we have not yet resolved as a society.”
Among other Mexicans included in the list, there is also: Mónica Lozano, responsible in the production of Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language, 2017), Luis Estrada, director of La ley de Herodes (Herod’s Law, 1999), as well as director and scriptwriter Michel Franco from Después de Lucía (After Lucía, 2012).
June 30's notice of the new members was received with surprise after it was announced that 2021’s year's ceremony will be postponed to April 25, two months after its original date.
Adapting to the new reality, rules for 2021’s nominees have also been changed. Movies will now be able to skip their big-screen release and go straight to streaming platforms. February 28 is the updated deadline for movies to be released, being just the fourth time in Oscar's history that a gala is delayed.
The only official announcement missing is whether the 93rd edition of the Oscars will have guests or if it will be hosted online. Either way, after months of staying home, the art has positioned itself as an essential activity that must continue to be encouraged somehow.